The crossing from Summer into Fall at the Farmer’s Market is perhaps my favorite time – you can still get watermelon and corn, tomatoes and basil, but pumpkins and sweet potatoes are also popping onto the scene. It’s a transitional time that sort of helps you navigate how you feel about summer ending and winter approaching. Hey, you say to yourself, at least I can still have some cantaloupe with my acorn squash. Things aren’t all turnips and rutabagas quite yet!
Last Saturday’s market was full of orange and purple, green and gold.
Last Saturday night, at the Colchester OctoberFest, Kevin was in charge of the vegetables. He roasted a ton of Colchester produce, from turnips to sweet potatoes, but he also made a sort of stew with pumpkin, peppers and ginger that he served out of the pumpkin shell:
And we have to include apples in the Fall Line-up. As you know, we like to go up to Milburn’s Orchards outside of Elkton to get our apples every year, and we like to go early in September to get our HoneyCrisps, before they sell out, which they inevitably do. We also get some baking apples so that Kevin can make his favorite apple dessert – Swedish Apple Cake. Why Swedish? because that is what the recipe that my sister gave us years ago is called! This is an easy-to-make cake, chock full of apples and nuts, good for dessert or a sweet breakfast treat:
Swedish Apple Cake from the files of Marty Hankins
- Cream together: 1 cup salad oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Sift and stir into the above: 2.5 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt
- Add 3 cups chopped apples, peeled or not, and 1 cup nuts of your choice, toasted or not, and stir until mixed
- Put into a buttered and floured 13X9 inch baking pan, or a 12 inch springform pan, and bake at 375 for about an hour
- Let it cool a little bit before you dig in
And then there’s the promised world famous oyster fritter recipe:
Sylvia Sherry’s Oyster Fritter, as tweaked by Chef Kevin McKinney over the years:
- For 4 to 5 large fritters
- Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1.5 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Make a “well” in the dry ingredients and add 2 small eggs and 3 ounces of milk
- Mix this until you have a thick batter
- Clean 2 cups of oysters, strained, and gently fold them into the batter by threes (in other words, one third of the oysters at a time)
- Have your frying pan very hot with a tablespoon of oil shimmering and ladle in about 6 ounces of your batter, making sure to include several oysters
- Let it brown on one side, flip it over and finish cooking in a 375 degree oven until no raw batter can be seen when you poke it with a knife – this should only take about 3 or 4 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is
- Flip onto a serving plate, whip yourself up some lemon buerre blanc and have at it!
I guess Fall is okay. I’m a summer weather person, but once the geese return and the oyster fritter is on the table, I can cope. Plus, there’s eventually going to be pumpkin pie…